2003 March 25 Tuesday
Amir Taheri On France's Arab Policy

In an enlightening essay Paris-based Iranian writer Amir Taheri traces France's Politique Arabe de France (PAF) Arab policy back to its initiator Charles de Gaulle as a way to counterbalance German and American power. Taheri argues that it is time for the French to reexamine the assumptions underlying a policy which is not providing net practical benefits to France.

One aim of PAF was, one must assume, the securing of a greater share for French goods in the Arab markets. But that has not happened. In most Arab countries France has been distanced as a trading partner by Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. In a sense PAF may have actually harmed French business prospects. There is a feeling in many Arab countries that doing business with France is always political rather than commercial, and that one must purchase French goods and services not because they are attractive but as part of a pay-off for French political support.

By attempting to prevent a US attack to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime Jacques Chirac has been acting to protect what the French government sees as a valuable relationship with an Arab client state. But the problem with the French thinking is the assumption of the value in some of its relationships with Arab states. The French appear to want influence as an end in itself. The French are so desperate to have influence that they have lost sight of what rational self interests they should most try to protect.

France, no longer a first rank power, can develop special relationships only with states that are basically the left-overs that the United States has rejected. Any regime that is seen as a threat to US interests is available as sloppy seconds for France to cultivate. Long term French disdain for America enhances the appeal of cultivating relationships with Arab countries that the United States sees as enemies. Therefore the French elite disdain and resentment toward the US combines with the desire to find states in which the French government can exercise some influence and results in French policies which oppose US interests in a knee-jerk fashion.

As Taheri argues it is not clear that the PAF policy has provided a net benefit to the French even if one uses a narrow economic definition of French interests. If one widens the scope of interests that are considered then the costs to the West as a whole seem clearly to outweigh the benefits that have accrued to some French commercial interests. The biggest area in which French policy operates in ways contrary to the needs of the security of the West is in nuclear proliferation. French policy, like Russian policy, acts to promote nuclear proliferation. Nuclear proliferation is the greatest threat to Western Civilization because it will inevitably lead to the possession of nuclear weapons by shadowy groups which are not deterrable.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 March 25 12:44 PM  Europe and America


Comments
Is English A French Dialect ? said at May 26, 2003 2:49 AM:

about the US language

Old French derives from Classical & Common Latin. The thing is that Old French took its distinctive flavour very early, far before the Treaty of Strasbourg (843) at a time when English was still looking like that: "Efne, ža eode on heora eallra gesihše an Iudeisc mann to žam deofolgilde, & geoffrode his lac swa swa geangsumod, & ręsde to šam were že šęr wolde offrian".
I mean that in 843 Old English was rather something totally obscure to humanity.

Old French started its striking, so far unaparalleled appeal to authority as early as 600-700 and at the same time refined ITSELF WITH NO FOREIGN INFLUENCE to become Middle French, which in turn (from 1066 onwards until today) invaded English so harshly that English turned out to yield a new version of English, a Frenchifyed one (called Middle English). Therefore English WAS REFINED BY FRENCH. Otherwise it would have remained a sad, unintelligible dialect of some blurred, cryptic German descent (altough it was already deeply mixed with Danish, Swedish, Jute -& God knows what else, as soon as 400-500).

But the story of English Frenchification didn't stop there! Middle English (already heavily Frenchified) got even more Gallified for the inhabitants of the British Isles were in desperate need for words & concepts to have at least a scrap of a chance to grasp a fragment of the reality pertaining to those invading French people & ideas that came & help them create a society they couldn't make up on their own (or even figure out).

Everything in those sad islands then was then constructed, fabricated, conceived, elaborated, developped, engineered, cogitated, assumed, fashioned, published, deliberated, regarded, intended, designed, acquired, described, anticipated, written, indited, ruminated, corresponded, explained, implied, recorded, contemplated, structured, rendered, obtained, assembled, gained, created, imagined, attained, established, scribed, generated, rationalised, induced, cogitated, forged, accomplished, purposed, named, composed, constituted, formed, expected, performed, duplicated, secured, e tutti quanti, after French manner.

This is for instance why for they were French,no king of England could utter -nor wanted to- a single word of English. The motto of the UK is "Dieu et mon droit" which doesn't precisley sound Anglo- saxon, does it? And the crown's motto still is "Honni soit qui mal y pense" (not too Brit innit?). I don't speak about economy, religion, philisophy, law, sciences, arts, army, justice, politics >>> French import.

Of course what happenned in the UK may well be of dramatic significance for you all. Fair enough. Just don't forget that was nothing for the French because the same phenomenon was occurring on a larger scope, although no other European people fell so low, to the point of not even being able to remember their languages or of merely having the comforting possibility to recognise what its flavour could have been.


Post a comment
Comments:
Name (not anon or anonymous):
Email Address:
URL:
Remember info?

      
 
Web parapundit.com
Go Read More Posts On ParaPundit
Site Traffic Info
The contents of this site are copyright ©